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San Diego-based CO fired over contract issues

Nov. 8, 2012 - 04:31PM   |   Last Updated: Nov. 8, 2012 - 04:31PM  |  
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The Navy fired the head of a San Diego-based maintenance center after investigators uncovered evidence of "contracting improprieties" at his command, Naval Sea Systems Command said in a news release Thursday.

Capt. Michael Wiegand, head of the Southwest Regional Maintenance Center, was fired by his boss, Rear Adm. Dave Gale, "due to loss of confidence in his ability to command," NAVSEA said in the release.

The relief occurred after a NAVSEA Inspector General report found "allegations of waste as a result of poor project management," said NAVSEA spokesman Chris Johnson. "In general, there was a lack of proper oversight in the entire command."

Wiegand, the third senior officer relieved by NAVSEA this year, is the Navy's 22nd CO canned in 2012 — a tally that matches last year's total.

Johnson said there were a number of different probes ongoing into Southwest RMC, a staff of 2,200 sailors and civilians who perform maintenance beyond the capacity of ship and sub crews. Citing these investigations, Johnson declined to specify which Navy agencies were leading them or what they were investigating.

"Right now we haven't determined the full scope" of the waste, Johnson said.

Asked if Wiegand was personally culpable for some of the contracting issues, Johnson replied: "It wouldn't be appropriate to comment."

Wiegand, a Michigan State University graduate who received his commission through Officer Candidate School in 1985, took command of the Southwest Regional Maintenance Center in July 2010, according to his official bio. Wiegand could not be reached immediately for comment.

The executive officer, Capt. Mike Fulgham, will serve as acting CO until a permanent commander is named, NAVSEA said.

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